Egypt unveils animal mummies of lion cubs, crocodiles, birds | News | DW | 23.11.2019
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Egypt unveils animal mummies of lion cubs, crocodiles, birds

Cats were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians so it was unsurprising that the discovery of mummies included so many felines. Lion cubs, however, are a much rarer find.

Egypt unveiled a collection on Saturday of 75 wooden and bronze statues, as well as lion cub mummies decorated with hieroglyphics.

The unveiling took place at the Saqqara necropolis near the Giza pyramids in southern Cairo and also included mummified remains of crocodiles, snakes, birds and cats.

Ancient Egyptian collection of feline mummies

Mummified cats are not uncommon among ancient Egyptian collections

Statues of an Apis bull, a mongoose, a falcon and the ancient Egyptian god Anubis in animal form were also revealed in the excavation.

Read more: 'In Ancient Egypt, death was massively integrated into life'

Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany described the discovery as "a [whole] museum by itself."

Ägypten Archäologen entdecken Grabkammer mit mumifizierten Tieren (AFP/K. Desouki)

The cache included a crocodile mummy

Enany added that the trove belongs to the 26th Dynasty, which dates back to the 7th century BC.

Archaeologists often find cats in mummy form as they were considered sacred animals by ancient Egyptians but the recovery of a lion in the same state is unusual. Indeed, the first lion skeleton was discovered in Saqqara in 2004.

Egyptian statue (AFP/K. Desouki)

A wooden statue of the goddess Neith is displayed after discovery by an Egyptian archaeological team in Giza's Saqqara necropolis

jsi/sms (AP, AFP)

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